Now, 13 years later, I'm browsing through Netflix, and I see that Season 1 DVD's have been released. "Holy crap!", I exclaimed, as I placed them into my queue and then waited until they arrived.
Watching them, however, has led me to formulate a theory. Hence:
The nostalgic effect of something you watched in your childhood increases proportionally to the amount of time that has passed.
In short, I cannot even begin to explain how bad this show is.
This is pretty much exactly why I haven't watched Star Wars 4-6 since the 1997 re-release. I know that if I watch them again, all of the awfulness in those movies will become immediately apparent to me.
One final note: Whenever Captain Nathan Bridges (Roy Scheider) ends a radio communication, he says "Seaquest out". I thought this was mildly humourous, as that gay guy from American Idol always finishes with "Seacrest out". COINCIDENCE?!!
I got a free game over the weekend; not really "free" per se, but it came bundled with Railroad Tycoon 2, which I paid $10 for, so I guess you could say I payed $5 for each game but RT2 was worth the $10 by itself... well anyway...
The free game was Airport Tycoon 2, and boy, that's about as much as I would actually pay for it.
At first, the idea sounds cool; build an airport! I love airplanes (not as much as trains), but this sounded pretty cool so I gave it a shot.
Unfortunately, the game seems like something that was thrown together in a week just so the company would have something to put on the shelves. There are tons of bugs. For example, the roads never connect when they should (you have to build roads outside of the airport). Then there's the fact that if you accidentally move a retail store inside your concourse, you lose the entire contract and the store disappears.
The game gets very confusing, as you're supposed to connect certain buildings to different kinds of "road". For example, there's "road", "apron" and "taxiway", but it never actually tells you which buildings require which kind of road; you have to experiment by putting the building down and waiting a month for it to finish building, and waiting another 3-4 months to see if it's started working.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment was when I first tried building an airport terminal; I had assumed that I could actually customize it myself however I wanted (the box said so), but I was wrong. Instead, you're given 6 prefabricated terminal designs, and that's it. Two of them can service 3 planes, and the rest service 5, 8, 10, and 12 planes each. You can't build your concourse in whatever shape you want, you have to rely on the canned shapes, which severely limit you and how you use your available space.
The game gives you absolutely no way to tell how many planes are flying each day, or if your terminal is saturated and that it's time to expand.
In Sim-city fasion, you have to build police stations everywhere on your airport for some retarded reason. I ended up having a huge police station every 10 squares from each other, and my security rating was STILL only 59% (you need to maintain 60% in order to get contracts from really profitable companies).
In order to get international flights, you need to build a "customs" building outside of the airport (outside? Why?!), and even then, the customs building could only handly a few passengers a day (I think; again there's no way to tell, it never tells you how saturated your customs building get). After signing 3 international airlines, I needed to build 27 customs buildings, which seemed to be just a little ridiculous, as they took up 40% of my entire real estate.
Oh and you need fire stations too. This is the weirdest part; I expected fire stations; after all you need an efficient fire system in case of plane crashes and such. So I built a fire station next to my hangars. And then waited for my fire safety rating to go up from 0. After a year, it was still 0, so I demolished it and built it OUTSIDE of the airport, which finally made my rating go up. But only by 5%. Like the police stations, I had to build 50 fire stations in order to get a 50% rating.
NOTE TO SIM GAME MAKERS: We game players find it really annoying when you are offered no choice but to make massive amounts of buildings like fire/police stations all over the place. If you look at real life, it is not like this at all. Since when does an airport require more than 1 fire/police station? This is what aggravates me about Sim City too; in order to have ANY police/fire protection, you need one on every block, which simply isn't realistic in any way. Would you PLEASE start making methods to open-endedly upgrade fire/police stations without neccessitating building 50 of them all over the place? THANKS!
So where was I? Oh yes, you have to build hotels and gas stations too. At first I thought the gas stations kind of made sense, as planes need to be refueled...
Until I found out that the gas stations, once again, go outside the airport, and are for the cars. WTF? I have NEVER seen an airport who owned gas stations on the premises, much less 20 of them (because your travellers get unhappy if there's only one gas station on your airport).
And finally, the worst part of the game, is the game itself. Basically, the entire thing is managing contracts. And these contracts are huge things with tons of meaningless numbers on them. For each airline, you are given a huge page with 20 different items on it, of which only about 4-5 are meaningful. These are not explained the the manual AT ALL, by the way.
For each item, there are two columns, the first column lists one price, and the second column is another price. God knows which one the company is actually paying you, though; there's no explanation at all.
And every year you have to renegotiate the contracts... except, when their new offer pops up, it doesn't tell you how their prices have changed since last year, so you really have no idea if they're offering you lower values than last year or not.
For each item, there's a button you can click to "renegotiate" it, so you'll get a higher price. These buttons will disappear after you've played the game for 30 minutes for some odd reason, so you have to save the game, close it, and reload it in order to get the ability to renegotiate contracts again.
After one year of playing, it gets to the point where you have so many contracts that it's impossible to keep track of them all, and you have to pause the time flow in order to take care of them all.
Another huge problem that I touched on briefly before is the fact that the game NEVER tells you how much your buildings are being utilized. For example, in order to get a cargo airline contract, you have to have cargo storage areas. But there is absolutely no way (noticing a trend?) to tell how full these cargo storage areas are. So you'll be going along, and then all of a sudden, a cargo company starts fining you $200,000 a day because there's not enough storage. Oh yeah, here's the best part: They completely stop ALL flights from the airport if they run out of cargo space, until you build more room. Nevermind the fact that there's still a ton of cargo space and they're probably bitching about having 4-5 crates too many, they'll stop everything until you get more buildings up... which... takes a month. Yep, so you'll be losing $200,000 a day for 30 days until you get a new cargo building built. God forbid if the game actually tells you if you're at 95% cargo capacity and should build more...
The same applies with: turnaround (they fill planes with gas and food), plane maintains (fix planes), cold storage, cargo buildings, warehouses, customs buildings, and terminals. They never tell you if they're at capacity, so you're always stuck paying out of your butt until you build more.
Upgrading a runway? HAH. They have 3 prefabricated runway lengths; longer ones can handle larger planes. They are 2000m, 3000m, and 3500m. You can't extend an existing runway, you either have to demolish it and build a new one in its place, or build a new one somewhere else. Oh yeah, I should mention that the game never tells you when your runways are at capacity (surprised?) and you should build more.
Oh it gets worse. The game has technology levels; you can't build higher-level buildings until you have at least one of every signle lower-level building. For example, there are 3 sizes of police stations. You can't build a medium police station unless you have: small police station, small firestation, a terminal, a 2000m runway, a plane maintain, a cargo area, a cold storage area, an hourly car park, a gas station, and a turnaround. Why? Who knows. But there are 7 levels, which is funny, because when you have built every single building, the game says "Congratulations, you have reached level 8, and the following buildings are now available to you:", and it doesn't list any buildings.
Oh yeah, supposedly you're supposed to be able to build "Level 2/3/4" baggage/security/checkin counters, but god knows how to unlock them. It doesn't say anywhere, not in the manual, not in the tutorial, etc. In one of the scenarios, you're supposed to build them in your terminal... but if I can't figure out how, how can I?! I tried everything. Seriously. I spent 6 hours trying to figure it out yesterday.
So anyway, if you want a perfect example of how not to make a game, this is it. It's a pity... this could have been a great game.
PS: oh yeah, and they never show you the planes taking off or landing. WTF?